Tucked away along the winding Colorado River, beneath the towering trees of the Lost Pines sits Bastrop, a town that promises a serene getaway and breathtaking nature for those who choose to explore it. Stop in for home-cooked meals, old-fashioned shops and a relaxing float down the river.
Bastrop State Park
The main attraction around here is the famous “Lost Pines” at Bastrop State Park. These pines that reach up to 150 feet are a group of Loblolly Pine trees that got separated from East Texas during the ice age and are now permanent residents of Bastrop. Get lost in this wilderness by riding your bike or hiking the nature trails.
El Camino Real Paddling Trail
To explore more of Bastrop’s natural side, take a trip down the Colorado River along the El Camino Real Paddling Trail, a six mile trail winding around the city and finishing up at the Lost Pines Recreational Trails. Rising Phoenix Adventures would be happy to set you up with a kayak or canoe.
McKinney Roughs Nature Park
Just a few miles west of Bastrop is the McKinney Roughs Nature Park, which is 11000 acres of pure Texas beauty on the Colorado River. The 18 miles of trails will take you through 4 ecosystems: a post-oak savannah, a blackland prarie, some East Texas piney woods and a Central Texas plateau. Explore by bike, horse or zipline.
Taking a walk through Bastrop’s historic downtown is like stepping back in time. Each of the old buildings on this street have been turned into awesome new shops — and some of the old businesses are still there. John’s Hair Design has been giving clean-cut shaves since 1855.
Bastrop County Museum
Visit this museum in the old 1930s fire and police station to learn about one of the most historic towns in Texas. Here, you’ll see all kinds of artifacts telling the story of Bastrop’s beginnings, from its first days as a German colony on the Colorado River to when Stephen F. Austin brought a “Little Colony” of 100 German families to settle the area in 1827.
International Society of Bridge Spitters
Yes, the International Society of Bridge Spitters is a real club in Bastrop, and it’s based on a tradition that’s been happening since the 1980s. Folks walk across the historic 1924 Colorado River Bridge, and spit as far as they can over the railing into the river below. The club gives out certificates to “spitters” at events each year, but you don’t have to join to partake in this small town tradition.
Maxine's on Main
For delicious eats, head to this small-town diner for classic faves like crispy chicken fried steak and creamy mashed potatoes on the downtown square. Wash it down with a refreshing lemonade in a mason jar and be sure to save room for homemade white chocolate cream pie for dessert. Or start the day with a Texas-sized home-cooked breakfast…seriously — the pancakes are bigger than the plates!
Hit up Roadhouse for the best burger in town. While you can’t go wrong with any of the behemoth burgers, I highly recommend diving into a Jalapeno Cream Cheese Burger — the perfect combination of creamy and fiery. Dig in!
Paw Paw's Catfish House
Stop into this house for a catfish dinner like granddad used to make and all the fried foods you could eat. Moist and crispy catfish paired with spicy hushpuppies and pinto beans — nothing’s better after a day of exploring!